Monday, February 28, 2005

Yet Another Snow Storm

lola3 Photo

Damn. Lola looks pretty tubby in this picture.

One of those Days

I'm just having the most frustrating day. I had lots of trouble sleeping last night, so that put me near exhaustion by the time the early morning hours hit. As a result, I completely over-slept (one of the few mornings when the stomping and running of the brat upstairs was welcome as that was what finally woke me up today). Rushed around like crazy to catch the later train, which sucks because that one is always uncomfortably crowded (and today was no exception). And then this of course puts me at a later exit time from work, which normally is no big deal, but today some huge snow storm is supposed to hit, so who knows what that will do to the LIRR by the end of the day! But the most frustrating thing of all today (so far) is this project I'm working on at work. I have a shitload of web reports to do for this project. It's actually interesting work and something I enjoy, but the volume of work that needs to be done makes everything somewhat stressful. That's still okay. What's making my life miserable with this project however, is that the Project Manager keeps changing the SQL tables (the databases) and the business rules, so that I keep having to go back to completed work, rip everything apart and change it all. I had a report that was completed, I had put all the final touches on it, the users were happy with it and now this morning I have to convert it to use the NEW-NEW table which, by the way, eliminated one of the really important columns I needed to use for this report. The PM said that he had to "demote" that field. Which means that I now have to go through about three or four additional steps to retrieve this one bit of information. And that's even if I can get it to work, so far I've only been rewarded with the return of "null" data. ARGH!!!! I'm. So. Damn. Frustrated. What a month to give up drinking, ARGH!. I went over to the PM a little earlier and vented my wrath. At least I didn't cry. Anyway, I just had to share, I feel a little better, I think I'll just go nurse my headache now.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Curse of Living Somewhere Great, Part II

Property available in Taos (area), NM:



The town is actually Des Montes, a rural suburb of Taos. Julia Roberts is their neighbor.

As can be seen above, my sister's house is officially on the market, the full listing can be seen here. Weird. I don't know why they're listing it as a three bedroom, when it really has four. The fourth BR is on the other side of the greenhouse (they use it as a guestroom, it's kind of nice, you have some amount of privacy being separated from the rest of the house this way). In NYC real estate anything that involves a space you can merely turn around in will try to be marketed as an additional room. I've seen pantries and hallways and little galley kitchens (with a stove and a fridge and a tiny counter, where one person can stand up in, but no table or any other furniture would ever fit) be described as an additional room here. You'd think they would want to exploit all the assets of the house.

So? anyone interested? It's a nice house.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

What is this World Coming To?

I've decided to cut back on my alcohol intake. Actually, I haven't really been drinking a whole bunch lately in general anyway (usually I'll just have a few beers once a week, on a Friday or a Saturday night) -- but I've decided to make a rule for myself that I will only drink alcohol during social occasions. Now, a mere few years ago this would probably still have had me out drinking a few times a week, but with the current sad state of my personal life, social occasions are few and far between. Maybe a couple of times a month, and that's only if sitting around a friend's living room counts. Anyway, last night I went over to Carolina & Janos's to watch a movie and so, technically, this counts as a social encounter, but I decided that I really didn't need to drink beer to watch a movie, even though both C and J were indulging. So, when Janos offered to get me one, I declined -- I'm so proud of myself! Anyone who knows me, knows how much I do enjoy a cold beer or three. After declining, I heard Janos in the kitchen mutter out loud to himself, "what is this World coming to?" What indeed?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Weak-Ass Snow

So the snow storm was a bit of a bust, despite all the dire warnings continuously interrupting Network TV last night. There was not enough snow to make it impossible to get to work, but just enough to fsck up commuting. Phhhffffftttt. And while we're talking about commuting, what is it about riding a train that brings out the strangest behavior in people? This morning, man seated across from me (facing me, our feet touching): man sneezes, violently, three times into his hat (knit, winter, skull-cap variety) and then proceeds to put the hat back on his head. My eyes were watering from trying not to laugh.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Today's Snow Storm

DAS Photo

Good Tips

Check out Chris Brogan's site today for tips on combating emotional eating. I find it always helps to reinforce these ideas. For the most part, we all know how to work out, we generally know what we should be eating. We know the behavior required to become (or remain) healthy, fit people. It's the emotional aspect of eating inappropriately that most of us find is the hardest key to conquer. So I welcome any new way to look at the issue. Or even a reiteration of the stuff I already know. It's all good.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Rant of the Day

If you're at work and you've got your radio blasting so loudly that it can be heard through a firewall and into the cube of the person on the other side of the wall, then (HELLO???) maybe you're listening to your (crappy disco) music far too loud. I mean, you have to think to yourself what volume level is perhaps appropriate for the office. Oh, and guess whose cubicle is the delightful recipient of the above (crappy disco) music? Yep. Happy Tuesday.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Late Night Walk in the Snow

DAS Photo

Friday, February 18, 2005

Conversation On A Train

This morning:

Michelle has new boots.

me: The only problem with high-heels is they get really wrecked walking around here.
me: My new boots? I had to replace the heel lift after only wearing them a few times.
Paul: Your problem is, you're not walking right. You need to prance more.
me: Oh yeah? You want to give me some lessons? You being such an expert and all.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Parallel Universe

Ever have one of those mornings where you're on your regular schedule, yet nothing and no one looks at all familiar? Stopping for your regular coffee, waiting for and riding your regular train, walking through your regular train station, up the same escalators, in through the same doors, into the usual lobby, up the same elevator at the same time of day and down that familiar gray-brown hallway -- yet you don't see one recognizable face and all the landmarks seem familiar, yet different all at the same time? No? Okay, well then nevermind.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The New Peer Pressure

I was watching the Today Show this morning as I was frantically trying to get ready for work and I happened to catch this little segment about how all the kids these days are drinking coffee and hanging out in coffee cafes because they think it makes them look cool and sophisticated. Way back when, when I was in high school, the way to look cool was to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and do drugs. I was so seriously un-cool as a kid, that even now I can't look back without a little shudder, but at least today I am not a smoker or drug taker (alcohol, well, that's another story. I did go to college after all). A little coffee addiction looks pretty harmless in comparison, wish this had been an option towards coolness back then. On the other hand, I can't imagine that any amount of coffee could have made a cool kid out of me -- I might have gotten more homework done though.

Todays Dilbert

I really wish I could say this the next time I am solicited at work for (yet another) damn baby shower.

Copywrite: Scott Adams

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentines Day

You would think being the caustic, bitter person that I am, that I would just despise Valentine's Day, but I really don't. It's a "holiday" that first of all is pretty low on my radar, especially nowadays when I rarely have to sit through a commercial on TV (thank you DVR!). I'm not really going out of my way trying to make a dinner reservation on a Monday night so it's not screwing with any plans I might have, and really, it is one of those things that is fun for those who wish to participate, but you don't have to feel like a freak for not wishing to celebrate. Unlike Christmas where I am always subject to every "bah humbug" type comment imaginable. Lastly, any holiday that does not revolve the celebration of children is pretty much okay with me. Even when I have been in a relationship for VD (a rare occurance, but it has happened a few times), I always took it as a light, not serious thing. Sweet, inexpensive gifts exchanged and maybe a dinner out and I've been satisfied. So, to those who value today -- Happy Valentines Day! To the rest of us, uh, Happy Monday! Actually a neghbor of mine wished me a happy VD and then gave me a hug this morning. I thought that was rather sweet.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Lip Gloss Makes Me Happy

It really does. Sometimes I am such a girl.

Political Games

There is this woman in my group at work who I don't trust. Maybe because some of our work overlaps, but I just don't trust her motives sometimes. She is also one of those falsely friendly people -- it always seems like she is trying to recruit supporters or something. Anyway, recently she was assigned a small project here that called for an enhancement to a current web report. It wasn't really a major thing, just adding an additional option and maybe another column of information to an already fully developed report. I was on the distribution list of the set of emails that went back and forth about this request because it is an area where I normally do a lot of work. The Project Manager assigned it to her because apparently she "needed something to do" and I am currently busy on a bunch of other stuff. Anyway, that was last week. Yesterday I received an email from her as part of a big distribution list about the completed enhancements to this report. All stated in varying colors and bolded text. CC:ing various Mucky Mucks in the company's Corporate Marketing group as well as the Director of our department. I read this and was like, "WTF???" I mean, I did this HUGE project over the Summer for the Corporate Marketing's Operations Manager. These reports were literally for the President of the company and various other important staff, and involved creating active server pages, building databases, writing the web reports and various drilldowns from start to finish. Not to mention ongoing enhancements and accompanying reports. Anyway, it was a big and important project, and never once did I send around an email about it declaring to everyone that I could think of that I am the greatest in the entire WORLD. All my correspondence went only to the people directly involved, basically the Operations Manager and the manager of our helpdesk, and once in a while another Project Manager. Never once did I feel the need to tout my accomplishments to the Director of my department, or any other sundry big wigs. I can't help but think this chick is making a big point of patting herself on the back. Kind of a form of ego masturbation. Pisses me off.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Curse of Living Somewhere Great

So my sister and her family live in this fabulous place. They ski every possible free moment in the Winter (not to mention most of the Fall & Spring too), the kids belong to ski teams, ski clubs, etc. In the Summer they mountain bike and camp. There is culture and beauty and beautiful outdoor spaces. The sun shines all the time. People want to live there, but there is not much in the way of employment. Plenty of very smart and very educated people move there, only to end up waiting tables or growing organic fruit and selling it on the side of the road or whatever. My Brother-in-Law (B-i-L) was lucky. Eccentric multi-millionaire (EM-M) who owned the engineering company he used to work for in VT took a shine to him, so when EM-M closed the VT office, he moved B-i-L and family out to Taos -- including a big raise, subsidized mortgage and school tuition for the kids. That was about five years or so ago -- they have a GREAT life out there. An enviable life. Every time I look at the garbage and dog crap strewn around my own neighborhood, or listen to car alarms or punk teenagers screaming in the streets, I think wistfully of my sister and her family living this idyllic life in the New Mexican Rockies. I admit it, I've been jealous for years. Anyway, my father called me on Monday to tell me that B-i-L was laid-off last Friday. Apparently EM-M has a cash-flow problem and is folding B-i-L's company. Yikes. So, now unless B-i-L wants to be (and can make enough money as) a ski instructor up at the ski valley, they're probably going to have to move. And move far away. I just can't imagine it, having the best life and having to give it up like that. At least living as I do in misery, things have pretty much always been this way, so I can only really imagine what I'm missing. In their case, I just can't imagine them being very happy in, say, New Jersey.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ahhhh, Life in NYC...

This morning, Michelle and I invented a new game to play as we hurry through Penn Station trying to get to work -- Dodge the Hobo. Which way is he going to go? Can you anticipate his movements, out-witting him and skid on by without catching a whiff or (worse) without catching his eye, while still maintaining your trajectory towards your target? It's not as easy to do as you might think, as the movements of Penn Station bums can be erratic and unpredictable at best. Michelle and I can confirm this after this morning's effort. The hobo almost won today.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Secret Rooms

I grew up in the suburbs, so I was used to relatively large houses and big backyards. There were always a number of choices indoors, big den, living room, bedrooms, kitchen -- even a basement. As an adult living in the city, the space issue has been an adjustment. Living in a small NYC apartment is not unlike living on a ship, you really must evaluate how necessary something is that you're bringing into the apartment and must constantly edit the contents of your space. Everything must have it's place, or it becomes utter chaos. One of my recurring dreams features discovering secret rooms and spaces in my current apartment. I'll open a door or something that I never noticed before and all of a sudden realize that I have another room, or series of rooms that I never knew I had, doubling, or tripling my space. Well, the new computer has allowed me, in reality, to discover a new room in my apartment -- my kitchen. I have the computer set up there because I have an unused counter area that doubles for a desk. Having a computer with a DVD drive and high-resolution monitor, I can now watch movies with it. I have a little loveseat in my kitchen and I've been reclining on it this weekend and watching this weeks Netflix picks. It truly is as if I've discovered a room I never knew that I had.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Irish Charm

I had a bit of nostalgia today, first with another IM from a former boyfriend, someone I dated a few years ago. I really liked this guy at the time, but he was less interested in me (but at least honest about it) and I have always been proud of the fact that I was able to hear what he was saying (both in action and words) and move on without too much angst or drama. Still, not having really had much in the way of relationships since then, I sometimes wax a little wistful for him. He was a guy that had interested me more than any guy had in quite a while, and I haven't come across another that has interested me quite as much since (not that I've been looking). He had just the right combination of smarts, silliness, humor (including caustic humor) and seriousness. And he was handsome without being too much so. But he wanted to date a lot of other women and didn't want to see me nearly as often as I wanted to see him. And, quite frankly, I just didn't want to play that game. Been there, done that -- it's no picnic, trust me. So I cut my losses, but felt the better of him for his honesty at least. Anyway, lately, every few weeks or so he will IM me, which is oddly comforting for some reason. I kind of like knowing that he is out and about in the World somewhere, even if I'm not in his orbit.

The other nostalgic thing that happened to me today was that my friend Sandra called me from Ireland. She actually called me about ten minutes before I was to leave for Spinning class, so Spinning got blown off and I ended up talking to her for about an hour. I miss her so much! She is truly one of my best friends for life, we may not talk often, but we fall right back like old times whenever we do. She and her husband are thinking of renting out their house in Ireland and moving to France for a year. I told her that I would definitely find a way to come visit her if she manages to make that happen!


On the elevator this morning: Michelle and I get on and then this big group of people get on behind us, all chattering up a storm. I whisper to Michelle that I do not recognize any of them, which is unusual because I've worked here for a very long time, long enough for most people riding the elevators to look familiar anyway. Michelle gets off on the 24th Floor. And then the elevator stops on 25, and the big group is still chattering away and one guy goes, "after you", someone else says, "no after you" and it goes round and round in this manner until I (lurking all the way in the back corner) finally pipe up, "well, someone get off already!" and they all get the hint and shuffle off. One guy left on the elevator with me says, "yeah. REALLY." And I reply, "I mean, what is this anyway, a cocktail party or something??? Sheesh."

Site Meters and Truncating Posts

Alright, I used to have a site meter and I got rid of it because I found that having it on my blog truncated the page of posts (in other words, you couldn't scroll down past a certain point to read the entire page). So, I installed a new (different) site meter the other day (which will explain why there are only 300-someodd hits after a couple of years of blogging) and the same thing appears to be happening with this one. Can some technical person please explain to me why? And what I can do to fix it? THANKS.
ugh! why am I up so early and WHY (for all that's good and holy) is there no coffee in this apartment???!!! ARGH!!!

Generous Friends

So I have this very generous friend. We've been friends for years, and years, and years -- in fact we dated on and off for years in another lifetime, but somewhere along the line we figured out that we make far better friends than lovers (this tends to be the story of my life, but we can save this subject for another day). Anyway, one day in December or thereabouts he IMed me about an iPod. As in, did I want one? (Presumably as a Christmas gift, even though we really haven't exchanged gifts in years). So, I explained to him that I couldn't use an iPod with my system at home because my laptop was too old, limited, not enough space or memory, etc. to run XP. And thus started a month-long IM conversation -- he would send me articles about the iPod, or send me a link about someone who wrote some software to get around the XP thing and I would just say that I didn't want to further tax my already over-burdened system or something. So then one day a few weeks ago he IMs me and asks if something was delivered to my apartment, would I get it. Well, I would most likely have to go to the post office to pick it up (if it was bigger than, say, a magazine) or you could send something to me at work. His reply: What if it was something BIG? Well? I guess you can send it to Janos & Carolina (they have a daytime doorman). About a week after that he IMs me and asks me, which would I rather have: A) New laptop (I get my own iPod), B) New desktop (I get my own iPod), or C) A Dell Jukebox. I say, I guess a desktop (I've been trying to figure out how I can afford one anyway, I already have a laptop, that is old and slow and limited, but will work for email and surfing, etc. I don't have the space issue with desktops anymore now that flat screens are more ubiquitous). And so he says, okay, he's going shopping over the weekend. All this time I'm thinking, "WTF???" Okay, so fast-forward to last week and he IMs me again and says, "here are your UPS tracking numbers... " rattles off three numbers and then goes on about how much fun he had shopping and that he liked it so much, he bought one for himself too, but doesn't go into much more detail. So, it was delivered to Janos & Carolina's on Tuesday and Janos helped me bring it over and install it last night... he bought me a brand new, Dell 4700 desktop with flat screen monitor! I just can't believe it. I was years away from being able to comfortably afford a new computer. I still can't figure out why he did it. Perhaps he read this blog about what a crummy Christmas I had, or maybe he just was feeling generous and had some extra cash this year, I don't know, but I am thrilled at being the recipient of such generosity. Don't know what I did to deserve it and have no clue about how to reciprocate (and no, providing sexual favors is not an option -- don't even go there).

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

YAY! I've Finally Figured Out How to Post Pictures!

This is a picture that I took of Lola and me over the Summer:

I usually hate having my picture taken, but this actually came out pretty well. Lola cracks me up, she looks like a cartoon character.